Butterfly Cauldron

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fat girls in tights?

So, they're talking about clothing over at Feministing and it got me thinking. It's not an easy task finding clothing, that I like, to fit.

The reason for this are two-fold. One, I'm fat. Two, I'm tall. I'm tall in the way I'm fat -- not a little, but a ways up the scale. I'm 5'11, which is a perfectly normal height for a man but really unusually for a woman. Except for the women in my family, who are all my height or taller. (In fact, I'm the shortest woman born into my family. We're a buncha Amazons, we are.) Thanks to the nice people at Just My Size, I can generally find jeans long enough. Everything else? Eh, it's a crap shoot.

On the one hand, I'm lucky that my job doesn't require me to be dressy. I do all my work online, so I can get away with wearing blue jeans, t-shirts and sandals on a daily basis. Which is very good, because that's about the only thing I can find with any ease. I've got a few skirts, all significantly shorter on me than they were originally intended to be, and a pair of black slacks I lucked upon, but that's pretty much it. Hose? Tights? Ha! Good luck with that. Apparently, fat girls cannot also be tall girls. In order to get a pair of hose long enough for me, I have to get hose that are way, way, way too big around. If I decide I want to get them to fit my waist/hips, I have to get them entirely too short -- which renders them unwearable.

Dress shirts are pretty much out of the question. They don't make them long enough. Why is that? I need a shirt that comes down a bit below my waist. Why is that so very hard to find? I can find t-shirts and tanks that are long enough, but not dress shirts. Does that make any sense? And, should I manage to find one that is long enough, it gaps across the bust. Now, my breasts are beautiful and I'm certainly no prude. I like a bit of cleavage. But I don't need to be spilling out of my shirt on job interviews.

Because I'm poor, I have no money for a tailor. I also don't have the money to spend the amount may specialty stores want for plus-size fashion. And the paradox is, my inability to find clothing to reflect a higher station impedes my ability to achieve said higher station.

This concerns me, in part because I'm getting ready to interview for a job soon. One that has the potential to spring me from my poverty. (Oh, such sweet possiblity!!) I can see it already, me standing in front my closet once more, trying to find something to wear that suits the job, muttering under my breath. It's not just clothing, it's potential and the future. And so may 'average' sized women (and don't be me started on THAT term) take for granted that they can walk into any department store and pick something off the rack.

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posted by Zan at 12:13 PM


Hey, I saw a comment you made on Femininsting so I hopped over to your blog to see what was shakin...

Man. I can feel you SO HARD on this. I am about about 5'6 1/2 - 5'7, so I'm not SUPER tall but still taller than most women. My problem is... I'm fat but not particularly curvy. I have broad shoulders, very small hips, average chest, and not much of a butt to speak of. My upper body is larger than my lower body, I'm shaped so awkwardly. So, I have a really hard time finding clothes that are flattering in any way. I mostly go with a t-shirt and jeans/pants. It's sad.

But, I do have some nice things, and I've gotten then mostly from Lane Bryant. Yes, they are generally expensive, but they always have LOTS of stuff in clearance which is where I've gotten some of my favorite pieces. And they mark stuff down pretty cheap... I'm broke as hell myself.

1:40 AM  

I also made it here from Feministing. You posted exactly what I was thinking. I'm 5'10" and have a super-size hourglass figure. I can't find things that fit my hips as well as my calves for the life of me! Let alone my chest. One place that's expensive but I definitely recommend is Torrid (they're online if they haven't come to a mall near you). Yes, they're kinda geared toward the goth drag queen, but I have found pants that actually come in longs and shirts that show off my chest as opposed to failing to cover it. Long live drag queens if it means making realistic-size clothing for me. (Long live them, anyway, they're usually fun.) And I despise people who can just wander into any old store (or Goodwill, for that matter) and find stuff that fits and looks fantastic on them. Maybe I should add sewing to my capabilities?

10:57 PM  

Ah, well, in my not-working life I'm quite happy being a goth drag queen. (Although I'm way, way, way too old for that...but what can I do? Death metal and black eyeliner speak my name.) I was looking over some sewing machines and patterns yesterday, trying to figure out if I can squeeze one into my budget. I may be able to, once I get paid for this freelance job I just did. So, yeah. Wouldn't it be nice to have a store where tall, fat girls can get good clothing that doens't cost them the month's rent?? (I have to go buy a new bra today. I'm already dreading the bill. There's ONE place in town I can get something that fits me off the rack. WTF??)

9:10 AM  

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